News: Full cast announced for RSC’s Love’s Labour’s Lost

Full casting is announced for director Emily Burns’ playful and contemporary take on Shakespeare’s vibrant comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost, which runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon between 11 April – 18 May. The production is the first programmed by the RSC’s new Co-Artistic Directors, Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey, as part of their inaugural season.

As previously announced the production features WhatsOnStage award-winner Luke Thompson  (Bridgerton) as Berowne, alongside Melanie-Joyce Bermudez as the Princess, Ioanna Kimbook as Rosaline, and Rilwan Abiola Owokoniran as Ferdinand. All four are making their RSC debuts.

Best known for his role as series regular Benedict Bridgerton in the popular Netflix drama, Luke Thompson has just won the WhatsOnStage award for Best Supporting Performer in a Play for A Little Life (Harold Pinter Theatre/Savoy Theatre). Other theatre credits include King Lear (Duke of York’s Theatre), Hamlet (Almeida Theatre/Harold Pinter Theatre), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and The Broken Heart (Shakespeare’s Globe/Sam Wanamaker Playhouse).  Television credits include Transatlantic, Kiss Me First, In the Club and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, and the films Misbehaviour, Making Noise Quietly and Dunkirk.

Melanie-Joyce Bermudez (the Princess) recently played Regan alongside Kenneth Branagh in his production of King Lear (Wyndham’s Theatre). Ioanna Kimbook’s (Rosaline) theatre credits include: Women, Beware the Devil, Daddy, The Duchess of Malfi (Almeida Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (National Theatre), and Bitter Wheat (Garrick Theatre). Television credits include: The Couple Next Door, Wedding Season, Suspicion and Inside No. 9Rilwan Abiola Owokoniran (Ferdinand) won the 2023 Ian Charleson Award for his professional debut in The Importance of Being Earnest. He recently starred in Beautiful Thing at Stratford East, and is currently filming The Sandman.

Love’s Labour’s Lost is directed by Emily Burns in her RSC debut. Associate Director of the National Theatre and of The Bridge, her other work includes the acclaimed Jack Absolute Flies Again, and Dear Octopus, both National Theatre, the latter of which is running there until 27 March.

The full cast comprises: Jack Bardoe (Don Armado); Brandon Bassir (Dumaine); Melanie-Joyce Bermudez (the Princess); Jeffrey Chekai (Marcade); Iskandar Eaton (Moth); Nathan Foad (Costard); Sarita Gabony (Maria); Tony Gardner (Holofernes); Shailan Gohil (Ensemble); Amy Griffiths  (Katherine); Ioanna Kimbook (Rosaline);  Kok-Hwa Lie (Dull); Jordan Metcalfe (Boyet); Tika Mu’tamir (Ensemble); Rilwan Abiola Owokoniran (Ferdinand); Marienella Phillips (Jaquenetta); Eric Stroud (Longaville); Luke Thompson (Berowne); and Jamie Tyler (Ensemble).

Joining Emily Burns on the creative team are: Joanna Scotcher (Set and Costume Designer); Neil Austin (Lighting Designer); Paul Englishby (Composer); George Dennis (Sound Designer); Shelley Maxwell (Choreographer); and Charlotte Sutton CDG (Casting Director).

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